Barnaby Is Wrong

21 Oct

From the Herald Sun:

Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce has backed a plan to double redundancy payouts for politicians, saying job prospects for retiring MPs are limited.

The independent remuneration tribunal is considering doubling the resettlement allowance to $70,455 for federal MPs who lose their seats at elections.

Senator Barnaby Joyce says the idea has merit.

“If you leave parliament you have signed a political card which means the opportunities for a job are limited,” he said.

“They’re limited because people don’t like a partisan political figure in their office. It turns off half the client base.”

If true, then perhaps politicians should have thought about that before climbing on board the taxpayer-funded gravy train that is modern politics.

Barnaby has form for making even bigger calls regarding remuneration for politicians (Sep 2009):

Outspoken Senator Barnaby Joyce has called for Kevin Rudd’s salary to be almost trebled to $1 million as MPs yesterday defended another pay rise.

The Remuneration Tribunal’s decision to boost the base salary of federal politicians next week to $131,000 – an extra 3 per cent – comes just months after the Australian Fair Pay Commission refused to give 1.3 million workers on the lowest wage one cent extra.

But staring down tough economic times and volatile poll results, the Queensland Government yesterday said it would stand by its 2009 election commitment and keep state MPs’ salaries frozen.

Senator Joyce told The Courier-Mail that unless pay was comparable with the private sector, Federal Parliament would be filled with “lords, ladies and lunatics”.

Better that, I would argue, than the Parliament filled with clowns, lawyers, and halfwits we have now.

Your humble blogger would point readers – and Senator Joyce – to the fine example of 2012 US Presidential candidate Ron Paul, who has just given a brilliant speech outlining a Plan To Restore America, in which he set the standard for what politicians’ pay should be.

If it’s good enough for a US Congressman and potential US President, Barnaby, then it’s definitely more than good enough for our mob (from 7:37min):

“I have taken it upon myself that I will not take a salary any higher than the median* income of all Americans, which is $39,000″

Ron Paul is a real leader.

“To lead the people, walk behind them” – Lao Tzu

* For the Australian PM, that means a salary no higher than $44,146 per annumeven less for the rest.

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7 Responses to “Barnaby Is Wrong”

  1. Tomorrows Serf October 21, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    If the only motivation to become a politician is financial remuneration and perks, then they are not suited for the job.

    I’m not saying they should starve (except Craig Thompson) but I know many people living on a lot less than $131,000p.a.

    Representative Ron Paul has truly set the benchmark for all politicians. (hope he has VERY good security)

    • The Blissful Ignoramus October 21, 2011 at 8:48 am #

      “.. except Craig Thomson”

      LOL. Why make an exception just for him? 😉

  2. Jazza October 21, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Pay peanuts and you get monkeys

    I think Politicians should get a decent wage and certainly above the median of the nation.

    What I dislike is the perks for life they get and that such extras have no relation to the competence or not of the MP in question but relies only on a minimum years spent in office..

    Barnaby is wrong about employment choices however, as there are plenty of ex pollies on company boards and in government quangos.

    • The Blissful Ignoramus October 21, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      “Pay peanuts and you get monkeys”

      Can anyone substantiate this colloquialism with evidence? In a correct and relevant context, (ie) politicians, in a (so-called) Western democracy?

      FWIW, I would argue that it is important to disincentivise people from becoming politicians … not the other way around. Why do you think there are fights amongst multiple candidates, for “preselection” in every electorate?

      The attractions of power and the ego-stroking “applause of the crowd” – or to take a kinder view, the “opportunity to serve others” – are more than sufficient incentive, IMHO.

  3. Richo October 21, 2011 at 3:22 pm #

    I’m only half with you. I agree that remuneration should be increased, particularly when a politician loses their seat for being an incompetent or corrupt mug or being associated with the aforementioned.

    However the idea that a politicians wage should be linked to the average wage of the nation is just populist nonsense. To steal a phrase from the feminist bible ‘equal pay for equal for work’.

    Does the average worker have put in the same amount of hours as even back benchers? Do they have put up and respectfully deal with every slack jawed yokel who thinks their hair brained scheme will solve all of the countries’ ills? Are they subject to the same level of scrutiny regarding their conduct and performance?

    Politics is an unpleasant game. The people who bag them the most are usually the most reluctant to go into politics themselves. Add to that a lot of people would not last 5 minutes in the gig.

    • Richo October 21, 2011 at 3:23 pm #

      Sorry that should read “remuneration should NOT be increased”

      • bushbunny October 21, 2011 at 6:25 pm #

        Richo, I believe that politicians who lose their seats after just one term or shorter, should get some redundancy package as any executive or director in a job. $70,000 doesn’t sound much to me. Those who lose their seat after a long time in parliament, surely have a superannuation scheme they can fall back on. And as far as further jobs are concerned, those who retire honorably are often because of their years of service, make a quid from authoring books, public speaking or jobs as directors. I don’t think that Barnaby is right here about the lack of job opportunities. Most MPs are already quite well heeled anyway like Tony Windsor.

        I agree politics is an unpleasant game but I worked as a political officer grade 1, temp for the Ian Sinclair, who said to me, ‘one doesn’t have to worry about the governing party when in opposition, those likely to stab you in the back are one’s own party’.

        As far as doing the job as a true public servant to his electorate,
        that I wouldn’t be able to do it without a sound background crew who protected my back. It cost a lot of money to do the job efficiently.

        When in times gone past we had some really heavy weight politicians in both parties, but that is not the case now. And then
        the Greens did not represent people like they do today.

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